Trip Report - Booked trip through Expedia as always (no problems) ($1080 Canadian for airfare and 4 nights at the Flamingo for two people) - Landed at McCarran at 9:50 PM on Sunday, Feb 12th - Used Airport Check-In for Flamingo – greatest idea ever. Had to give us 2 queens instead of the 1 king we had booked. No big deal. Asked about an upgrade, he said $60/night. I said no thanks. Took 5 minutes and we had our room keys, walked over and picked up our luggage. - Grabbed cab straight to the hotel (very short line for cabs) ($22 including tip – I think he took the long way) - Took forever for us to walk to our room and drop off our luggage as we drastically underestimated the size of the Flamingo. - Headed down to the casino and went straight to Carnival Court – good times. Weather was nice, music was good, beer was cold. - Walked through Harrahs and ended up at Casino Royale where we love to gamble. Got some cheap beer and did a little gambling. No winners. - Headed back down to Barbary Coast for late night breakfast (steak and eggs); very acceptable meal for the price. - Decided to play Pai Gow at the BC; the dealer (David) was AWESOME; Pai Gow every second hand. Then they switched dealers and the new girl took all my money. Called it a night. Monday: - My parents were stopping in on their way to Arizona so we hooked up with them for breakfast at the Tropical Breeze Café. Very disappointing. Not enough chocolate in my milk, deep-fried French toast, overcooked bacon. - We checked out the penguins and Flamingos and walked through the gardens. Weather was gorgeous. My mother is very sick and this is a walk I’ll remember as long as I live and I’ll probably have a soft spot forever in my heart for the Flamingo gardens. - Plan was to stay close to home and then head downtown at night. Walked across to Caesars and played some horses. No luck. Put a few futures bets in (Stanley Cup, Super Bowl, etc). Very POOR service on a Monday afternoon at Caesars. - Went to the PepperMill for supper as recommended by many here. Great place – huge portions, great food, affordable prices, cool atmosphere. Highly recommend it. - Went to Riviera and had some luck on the slots - Caught the bus downtown and saw the light show (again). Doesn’t turn my crank at all but the crew I was with had never seen it. Went into Mermaids and did a lot of gambling on 5 bucks – that place is just bananas… I love it. Where else can you get 4 rounds of cocktails on $5 in a slot machine? Finally lost the 5 bucks and just walked around a bit more. - Caught the bus back to Flamingo and crashed Tuesday: - Rest of the crew had booked a Hoover Dam tour so we stayed at the Flamingo for breakfast (yes, Tropical Breeze Café again); actually, it wasn’t that bad this time around. In fact, I found the omelette to be very good. It was a totally different experience from the day before. - Crew took off on their Hoover tour and I went to Barbary Coast (I’ve done the Hoover Dam tour already so had no need to go back). I sat back down at the Pai Gow table and had a great time yammering back and forth with these two old ladies from Minnesota. Left the table with decent winnings (would have kept playing but was running out of time before the crew got back from Hoover and I wanted to check out the Hilton sportsbook). - Bused to Riviera and walked to Hilton (long walk but I knew it would be; it was a nice day). Nice Casino and great book! Played horses and again no luck. - Walked back to Stardust and caught the bus back to Flamingo where I crashed for an afternoon nap before the crew got back from Hoover. - Ate the Carnival World Buffet at the Rio. Still good enough for me and I’d go back again. - Went to Palms and got eaten alive by the slot machines. What happened to this place? Wednesday: - Caught the bus to Excalibur where we dared to try the breakfast at the Sherwood Forest Café – it was fantastic! Absolutely delicious… very surprised. - Walked to Hooters and contrary to what I was told before my trip, found out their slots are locked down, big time. These bastards are tight. Disappointed with the whole Hooters Casino experience and likely will not return. - Walked to Tropicana where we gambled a lot and had some luck. Used their $15 for $10 blackjack coupons. - Caught bus back to Caesars and played basketball. Ohio State screwed me out of $75 and I’m still bitter about it (they blew an 11 point lead). - Ate at the Cheesecake Factory. Very good meal and huge portions. Was so full I didn’t even try the cheesecake. - Walked back up to Casino Royale and had no luck this time around. - Kept going up to the Venetian. I love this place. If I had unlimited resources, this is where I’d stay. Gambling was very decent here. Thursday: - Ate the Flamingo buffet and was somewhat impressed. About the right quality/selection for the price. - Checked out via the television (very slick) and caught a cab to the airport. ($13.00 including tip). That’s more like it. Random notes: - Good gambling experiences: Barbary Coast, Tropicana, Casino Royale, Venetian, Riviera, Mermaids - Gambling disasters: Palms, Palms, Caesars Palace, Hooters, Palms, Flamingo, Excalibur - Good cocktail service: Venetian, Mermaids, Tropicana - Poor cocktail service: Caesars Palace is still the undisputed world champion, Barbary Coast was off and on… I think they were just understaffed - Bus is still the way to roll on the strip - Wynn 50 points for 2 buffets promotion is still on - 0-3 on my basketball picks - Net Gambling between wife and I: Loss of about $175, so not too bad, but we’re not high rollers by any stretch of the imagination - Would I stay at the Flamingo again? Yes, for $90/night or less only.